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April, 16 2019
What You Don’t Know About Oral Cancer Can Kill You

For the past 20 years, oral cancer has been the fastest growing cancer in America, increasing every year while the incidence of every other type of cancer has remained the same or gone down. Every minute of every day, someone in America dies of oral cancer. This year alone, nearly 53,000 men and women will be diagnosed with oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer. It’s epidemic. And at Sage Dental, we’re doing something about it.

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, and at Sage, we’re focusing on helping our patients live longer, healthier lives through careful examination and early detection of oral cancer. If diagnosed early, oral cancer patients have an 80 to 90 percent 5-year survival rate. But if ignored, that rate plummets to less than 50 percent.

It’s no secret that tobacco and alcohol use, as well as age, increase your risk for oral cancer. But today, the fastest growth of oral cancer is among patients below the age of 36 who don’t smoke or drink. One cause is the spread of human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted virus now carried by more than 79 million people. HPV is often unknown to those who have it and shows no symptoms. That’s why it’s a leading cause of oral cancers in the mouth and throat and why getting regular dental checkups twice a year are crucial to your health and longevity.

Oral cancer symptoms include:

  • Loose teeth with no apparent dental cause
  • The feeling of a lump or object stuck in your throat
  • Tongue pain
  • Difficult or painful chewing
  • Persistent bleeding sores on the face, mouth, or neck that do not heal within two weeks

The saddest thing about oral cancer is how many cases could have been diagnosed and treated early with a simple exam. At Sage Dental, every patient receives a routine oral cancer screening once a year at their scheduled cleaning. Our dentists and hygienists do a comprehensive check of the mouth, lips, tongue, cheeks, the floor of the mouth, hard and soft palate, sinuses, pharynx and lymph nodes to check for any abnormalities, or pre-cancerous growths.

But now, in addition to our visual checks, Sage is offering our patients an advanced screening with the breakthrough, state-of-the-art VELscope technology that uses blue light to detect early warning signs, pre-cancerous tissue, or early-stage cancer undetectable by the naked eye and white light. For those in high-risk groups like tobacco and alcohol users and those with HPV, we highly recommend a VELscope screening. It’s non-invasive, painless and detecting oral cancer in the early stages increases your chance of survival significantly.

Even if you aren’t experiencing any symptoms, schedule your Advanced Oral Cancer screening at Sage Dental today. With the growing prevalence of HPV, you may be at increased risk and not even know it.

Nothing will give you peace of mind like a clean bill of health. During Oral Cancer Awareness Month – and every month – our team of dentists, hygienists, and specialists are on a mission to help detect oral cancer early and dramatically increase overall health and survival rates.

Call any of our Sage Dental offices in Florida and Georgia today to schedule an appointment and when you do, ask for the advanced VELscope oral cancer screening.